FU-BEST: European Studies Program at the Free University of Berlin

Program Details

Program Location Berlin, Germany
Sponsor Purdue
Program Type Direct Enroll
Course # SA 30028
Duration Semester
Upcoming Program Dates
Spring 2025 02/04/25 to 05/23/25
Fall 2024 08/27/24 to 12/13/24
Past Dates
Spring 2024 01/30/24 to 05/17/24
Page Links
Click here to apply for this program!
Please Note: Programs may be altered or adapted with little notice


University: The Free University of Berlin is one of nine elite German universities with an enrollment of approximately 40,000 students.  The FU has a strong international profile featuring numerous partnerships with universities outside Germany and a large foreign student population.

The FU-BEST (Berlin European Studies) Program seeks to educate responsible, global citizens by promoting intercultural sensitivity in a multi-faceted environment. The program aims to provide an intensive and diverse study abroad experience to its participants. Combining mandatory German language instruction and a varied menu of content courses taught in English and German, FU-BEST is intended to be an accessible opportunity to a wide range of potential participants. Using its concept of the “extended classroom,”  the program’s goal is to link high-quality academic instruction with a broader international experience, encompassing elements of culture, society, history, and politics, in Berlin, in Germany, and in Central Europe generally. Small classes and the availability of day-to-day guidance and support are designed to enable students to make the most of a unique educational opportunity.

Courses: Click here for more information about courses.

Berlin: Berlin is the capital of Germany and a city of 3.4 million inhabitants.  It offers a spectacular diversity of cultural institutions (museums, theatres, opera, orchestras), vast recreational opportunities, and a first-class public transportation system.  Located in central Europe, Berlin offers convenient access to much of the rest of the continent.

For more program information, please visit the program website.


Students who will have completed three semesters of full-time university study by the start of the program and have at least a 3.0 GPA are eligible to apply.  No previous knowledge of German is required, but those with German language skills will be able to improve their fluency in and out of the classroom. Applicants should be in good standing. Successful candidates will demonstrate academic success, maturity, and a desire to experience another culture.


GPA Requirement: 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
Language Requirement: none

Purdue Credit

Direct Credit available from the following: [College of Liberal Arts]

Students interested in completing courses while abroad from Purdue colleges or departments that are not listed above should discuss this with their study abroad advisor before applying to the program.

Academic Program

The FU-BEST program involves mandatory enrollment in German language, offered at all levels, during the Fall and Spring semesters (6-8 credit hours for intensive instruction at all levels and 3-4 credit hours for non-intensive instruction at the beginner level). The FU-BEST program does not require knowledge of German prior to enrollment.

Students can choose from a large selection of non-language courses (3 credit hours) taught mostly in English by expert faculty, covering such topics and disciplines as cultural studies, art history, comparative literature, the European Union, German history, German and European politics, sociology/psychology, film studies, legal studies, architecture, environmental studies, transatlantic relations, business, music history, and philosophy.

For German speaking students who would like to pursue intensive language practice while abroad, a specialized track of courses called GermanPLUS+ is available.  This option is designed to meet the needs and interests of advanced German studies and German language students, or students of subjects like European Studies, history, and political science who have advanced German language abilities.  The GermanPLUS+ package of German-taught courses is fully integrated into the FU-BEST structure, cultural activities, and program services offered to all other FU-BEST students.


In addition to classroom instructions, students also take several local field-trips which are an integral component of many of the courses, in addition to individualized assignments when feasible.

A unique and special feature of the program is a week-long excursion to exciting European cities such as Poland, Munich, Vienna, Dresden, Prague, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Budapest, Paris, London or other destinations (varies from semester to semester).


The FU-BEST program offers three housing options:


Estimated Program Costs

Students pursuing program participation accept financial responsibility. Purdue will take measures to mitigate financial risks, although will not be liable for loss. 

Students should carefully note what costs need to be paid to Purdue University or to a co-sponsor or agency, and what costs need to be paid at the overseas study location.  This will vary by program.

Note:  The program fee includes tuition, orientation, public transportation pass, course materials, excursions, special dinners and cultural events.  In addition, participants must pay for transportation to and from Berlin as well as any personal expenses (entertainment, extra travel, etc.).

Costs for this program are estimated and subject to change. The cost figures listed below are for: Fall 2023

Costs per semester to be billed by Purdue and the Host University
Program Fee $6,935.00
Study Abroad Fee $914.10
Housing $3,000.00
Purdue International Insurance (per month) $32.00

Approximate additional costs per semester
To be paid by the student.
Program Specific Insurance $215.00
Round-trip Airfare $1,100.00
Local Transportation $300.00
Visa $150.00
Books and Supplies $300.00
Meals $1,500.00
Miscellaneous Personal Expenses $0.00 - $2,500.00
Travel Documents (passport, photos) $175.00

Financial Aid

Purdue University financial aid may be applied to the costs of studying abroad. Students interested in receiving financial aid should

NOTE:  Recipients of certain tuition remission and scholarship programs should pay careful attention to the regulations for using those benefits for study abroad.  Ask your financial aid advisor about any limitations.

Click here for a list of scholarships and grants available to assist with the costs of studying overseas.

Application Deadlines

For full consideration, students must submit all supporting documents (typically an essay, transcripts, 1-2 recommendations, and copy of passport) before or by the application deadline.  Popular programs fill quickly, often before the deadline. To ensure a place in a program, apply early.

As soon as a student submits an online application, a My Study Abroad account is created. Applicants should consult this page often to check on the status of the application.

Program Application Deadline
Most Fall Semester Programs Mar 1
Most Spring Semester Programs Sep 15

Returnees Information

Click below to search for Purdue students who have participated in this program and are willing to be contacted.  If you get no results, you can use the search form to find people who studied in the country you are interested in.


The websites listed below contain information about this program. The accuracy of information at external sites cannot be guaranteed.

For more information on this program, please contact the Study Abroad Office by phone (765) 494-2383 or email studyabroad@purdue.edu.